Fifth Estate # 89, October 2-15, 1969

Brothers and Sisters,

Enjoyed our paper over here in Nam. They really get worn from use. I’ll be back home to Detroit in 3 weeks so you should stop sending it. I will subscribe when I’m back.

Read with great interest the John Sinclair story. He spoke at our high school a few years ago, and the instructor that brought him down was dismissed.

Met some very heavy people over here, but it will be nice to mingle with the civilians for awhile. I don’t get out til June 1970.


Mike McCormick

Dear Editors,

I am now a resident at the Correctional Training Facility at Ft. Riley, Kansas. I was sent here as a result of 30 days AWOL, a kangaroo-type court martial and a maximum sentence.

I was discovered reading the Last Harass, the peoples’ information paper for Ft. Gordon, Georgia. Then the rush began to get me out of circulation first, and secondly, out of Ft. Gordon.

All of this was persecution, but is not the main subject at hand. CTF is an Army stockade which utilizes a training similar to Basic Combat Training. While processing into this unit I was interviewed by a social worker. I told him I did not want to be there but that I would participate in training ‘(to keep out of trouble) as long as it didn’t have anything to do with bearing arms.

He threatened me with a court martial and one year in Leavenworth before returning to duty, which I didn’t want anyway. The following day I was interviewed by another social worker but no threats, this time.

I hope it isn’t necessary, but my next letter may be addressed from Leavenworth, if these pigs ask me to bear arms. I am non-violent, anti-war and anti-draft, and disagree greatly with the policies of the army in general.

I have repeatedly expressed these views and will continue.

Please say a little prayer for me in your prayers for peace.


Pvt. Thomas Sampson
4th Correct. Training Unit
Ft. Riley, Kansas 66442

Dear Sirs,

I have typed up this letter for Tom (see above) because he would not be able to send it from Riley as they check all the mail. How he managed to smuggle it out is a miracle, but a good one.

Sampson came back from AWOL and was kept in the company area as is the policy after a person’s first offense. Two days later the 4th edition of the “Last Harass” came out.

Sampson was lying on his bunk reading a copy when the shakedown of our barracks began. It was taken from him and he was placed in pre-trial confinement.

Cap. Flanagan, the security of our brigade, thought he had the man responsible for printing the paper and used him as the scapegoat that is always needed to try and set an example for the troops.

Pvt. Sampson’s only mistake was laying on his bunk and reading a newspaper. If he had not been reading it, maybe he would have gotten a suspended sentence like the man who had a court martial today after THREE MONTHS AWOL. This man got a suspended sentence, and of course; he never got caught reading the “Last Harass.”

Yours in the struggle for freedom and peace,

Jeff Budd,
Ft. Gordon, Ga.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am writing you to let you know that, since all humans are strangers until they meet, I have asked myself a most crucial question—”Have I been controlling my life, my environment, or have I permitted them (the pig society) to control me?”

The magnitude of the racial gap between humans only continues to be prevalent and potent because we who can, who should, do not venture out into mental intercourse upon the grounds of empathy and communication.

Therefore, as an Afro-American, I now take this step in your direction, via this letter, that this might act somewhat as a bridge to span into future togetherness and friendship, our American Brotherhood.

Certainly our inner poverties are tremendously frightful when we cannot activate something of our beings to give to another (our Brothers and Sisters) that may perhaps mean a little something to them.

That this may seem to you a bit trite, I do not perceive. Yet, if my communication, my offered friendship, my brotherhood, means anything to you, has any value, or brings forth just one small ray of sunshine—then for this I am happy. I am happy for my heart does possess much love for my brothers and sisters, both Black and White.

With all Power to the People, Brothers and Sisters, I give you my love.

Down with the pig society,

Billy (Omovvali)

Dear Fifth Estate,

Enjoyed the bright and cheery review of the “Other Ideas” show here [FE #88, September 18-October 1, 1969], and want to especially compliment Alan Gotkin on the photographs which he managed.

Gotkin has obvious talent, putting himself in the picture: he enjoyed the enjoyment. I feel he would be sorrowful and show it in the picture if the subject were sad.

He is an artist as demonstrated by four shots you used.

No photograph of the exhibition I’ve seen, by the way, came anywhere close to his staging of Chuck Santon’s three-story untitled neon tube in the Sculpture Court. Magnificent composition.

While I’m running off with compliments…are you responsible for the layout of the Art Institute feature? Quite fresh.

Robert R. Rodgers
Public Relations Director
Founders Society
Detroit Institute of Arts

To the People,

John Sinclair is in jail and we all know what he said on his way out of court, but the most important part is the “You will die!”

John is in jail! We must realize this; are we going to sit on our asses and let John rot in a cell when we can strike and hit hard! We have a reason for a full scale war, but so far all that’s come of it is a lot of talk. It’s time to move and act, act or live with this honky shit.


A True Brother

Dear People,

I read the thing you printed about prison and armed love by Sinclair. And I had to cry. [See FE #87, September 4-17, 1969.]

I’m not going to hassle about anything he said. I only want to offer you a poem I wrote for youth.


Remember the beauty of a gentle touch and a quiet smile.

Lay aside your violent anger, your stern mask.

Sit softly in the dawn and think.


Remember those things of beauty the earth holds.

The little animals. The trees. And the sky.


Then remember love.


Dear Fifth Estate,

I want to take the opportunity of using your fine newspaper to place before the eyes of your readers my feelings toward the unjustified sentence that was given to one of our brothers, John Sinclair.

We often hear the phrase, “Justice tempered with mercy.” This phrase rung very hollow in the courtroom that day John was sentenced.

Where is justice when a jurist is allowed to pass judgments which do not reflect the true intent of the law, but are clearly based on personal prejudice? Where is mercy when a man is given the maximum sentence for this type of offense?

This case is but another reason for all concerned people to wonder whether the phrase, “Liberty and justice for all” is really the inherent right of all citizens or merely another in a long list of empty cliches uttered by our politicians every election year.

John is fighting for a cause to give back the meaning of those words, to liberate Amerika from the fascist government that is slowly taking place in our country.

That is why he is where he is today. Because he opposes our government from taking over, he is put away. Forcible suppression of opposition is a symptom of fascism. The marijuana cigarettes were not the true basis of his sentence. They were an excuse.

We must keep his cause going and moving forward. Do not be discouraged. We must all do our part in educating our fellow Amerikans so that together we can keep Amerika to ourselves, the people.

Amerika belongs to US!




To the Editor,

Don’t let them get you down, baby. When you’ve had it up to here with their laws, their rules and their meaningless society, forget them. Or try to. One of these days we’ll find peace, a happiness within our own minds brought about by our own convictions, not theirs.

And when they see our joy, our tranquility, our love for each other as human beings, they’ll still sit on their padded asses with their noses in the air, searching for more bread to stick in that already loaded bank account.

It won’t ever give them the peace of mind and body for which we strive, for that comes not from bread and the superficial, materialistic things in society, but from the heart and the soul and the mind of we the people.

They’ll always be up on their conservative, hypocritical high horses over something. That is, something other than their own violence, their own fakery, their own little hidden indiscretions. They can’t take the honesty and freedom for down-to-earth people to which we subscribe.

For some goddamn reason they’ve got to put a hang-up on everything. I’m sure that a big part of their uptightness is due to envy. That’s right. Pure green-eyed envy. It must really bug them to see our free spirited people living and loving it rather than just going from one dull day to another.

Here we are, free from unnecessary responsibilities, free to go where we want, with whom we wish, and do whatever we feel like doing at that particular time. That’s just what all the old son-of-a-bitches would love to do but they haven’t got the guts to give up their giant salaries, overdone houses with backyard pools, their small time secretaries and their big time psychiatrists.

They haven’t got the courage it takes to walk out on it all so they merely sit back and criticize us for being free, at least as free as we can be under the circumstances. They call us kids who never grew up, but that’s okay. Don’t sweat over it.

Youth is a prize possession, worth much more than money and we seemed to have found the key to it. We may grow old in body over the years, but with our beliefs and our philosophy, our minds will always be youthful and vigorous.

And if you really want the upper hand over them, really want to make them look like a jackass even to themselves, overlook their obscenities, ignore their outrageous remarks.

When a pig yells “Hey you long-haired motherfucker,” reply with a smile—”PEACE.”

Peggy D’Ambrosio